Tide Mill Woodbridge

Rowhedge Boats     

Boats in St. Ives Harbour

From Hoskings Hide

  Italian Morning

Fields at Little Cornard I


Market Place, Verona

Early Morning, Walberswick I

Early Morning, Walberswick II

Generally I paint quite loosely in watercolour. My method combines ideas from  tutors I have worked with over the past 13 years plus my own individual style. It can vary with different subjects but I usually start with a light drawing – not too much detail as I don’t like the ‘colouring in’ approach. This will help me to see if the composition of the painting is correct. Then I wet the paper avoiding areas which need to remain white. I would then apply the watercolour washes in broad areas allowing them to blend. This immediately gives a coordinated feel to the whole painting. Then it is a question of making decisions about which areas of the painting need to be resolved and which of the beautiful loose initial washes can be left. Use your original pencil marks to bring some form to the painting but be careful - too much detail will make it look like a photograph and too little will render it abstract and possibly unreadable.

Occasionally I add  water soluble graphite pencil to some areas to define buildings, masts, boats etc while the paper is still wet so that it slightly dissolves into the picture.


Most of my paintings use only 3 colours (or less) – again this helps to coordinate the painting and make it less ‘busy’.
Warm and cool colours/areas play a part in this and must also be balanced in the picture.


Sometimes I leave out the drawing stage and rely on my brush marks to describe form and to find negative shapes.


I like to include people in my paintings. A busy market scene can be very exciting and challenging.


Equally difficult but very rewarding are the calm seascapes which require little painting but lots of thinking time.

In watercolour painting it is important to simplify a subject as this will give it more impact. I am influenced by Wesson, Seago, Mike Chaplin and Trevor Linguard.

Watercolour Method


Susan Boddy